EMT and paramedics could be getting new training soon, while also getting the required hours to get their license.
The training would teach the warning signs of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease because it is often difficult for first responders to get crucial information from patients exhibiting these signs.
Over 230,000 people suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s in the state of Illinois. However, there is only about a 45-percent formal diagnosis rate.
David Olsen with the Alzheimer’s Association Illinois chapter said this training is something all other medical providers already do, so it should be extended to paramedics as well.
“Many times people they are serving, may be living with Alzheimer’s or dementia, it might be the reason they are calling for, or it might not be, but it certainly will impact the interaction that paramedic or EMT has with a resident if they are living with the disease,” Olsen said.
The bill has been passed in the Illinois house and senate and is waiting for the governor’s signature.
The Alzheimer’s Association Illinois chapter hopes that this bill will also help providers give more proper diagnosis.